If online sports betting is new to you, you might wonder if you can really get “free” bets. The answer, with a couple of conditions, is “yes.”
In all, there are two types of online free bets available: free bets and risk-free bets. Below we’ll explain the differences and show how to claim one or both of these when sports betting becomes legal in California.
How do free bets work?
When the market finally opens to licensed sportsbooks, you’ll find quite a few California online betting sites that offer free bets with your first deposit. Sportsbooks may even occasionally offer new players free bets with no deposit necessary.
Sportsbooks offer these risk-free bets as a goodwill gesture to attract clients. You get to make free bets, and the sportsbook gets to show off the features of its site and bring in new customers.
There is one notable difference between regular bets and free bets.
Let’s say that a retail sportsbook gives you a $50 free bet on your first deposit. With the $50, you’re making a bet with house money. If you made an NBA moneyline bet on the Golden State Warriors at +120 to beat the Atlanta Hawks, a $50 bet pays $60 plus your original bet back. With a free bet of $50, though, you only get the $60 if you win and not the stake.
The winnings get added to your account, but different sportsbooks have various requirements for withdrawing your winnings from free bets. Check the fine print wherever you deposit for restrictions about playthrough requirements.
How do risk-free bets work?
As an example of risk-free bets at sportsbooks, let’s say that a sportsbook offers up to $100 in risk-free bets when you sign up.
There are a few ways that a sportsbook may reimburse your initial bet if you lose. If you make a $100 bet on the Atlanta Hawks and lose, some sportsbooks will put $100 in your account.
Other sportsbooks may reimburse the amount in five bets of $20 each. They may also return the total amount in a lump sum if it’s under a certain amount. If the initial amount gets split into separate bets in your account, you would only be able to bet $20 on each line with the amount reimbursed. Hence, it’s essential to read the terms and conditions before signing up for a risk-free bet.
Another thing to remember is that when you receive the amount of your initial bet back, that amount tends to operate as a free bet. Let’s say you made a $100 losing bet, and you receive five bonus bets of $20. When you bet the $20 and win, you get only the winnings credited back and not the stake.
Other sportsbooks will pay your entire winnings on free bets. They will return the original stake along with the winning payout. It’s important to shop around when looking at sports betting bonuses.
What is the maximum free bet or risk-free bet you can get?
There are several scenarios for risk-free bets and free bet sports betting promos at sportsbooks. You can find offers for first deposit risk-free bets up to $1,050 or more, while some sportsbooks offer bonus packages of free sports bets online that are specific to events.
For example, a sportsbook might give you $200 in free bets with your first real money bet of $5 on a significant event. Other sites might award instant free bets on sign-up. There are even promotions like insurance bonuses on parlay bets.
Is there a maximum win on a free bet?
They aren’t legal in the Golden State yet, but California sports betting apps will likely post restrictions regarding the use of free bet offers. It’s best to read the terms and conditions of the sportsbook offering free no-risk bets and how much you can win with them.
You can only place risk-free bets at some sportsbooks at low-level odds. Most sportsbooks will not allow online free bets for parlays or round robins.
Can you combine free bets or risk-free bets with odds boosts?
Depending on the operator, you might not be allowed to use free bets with an odds boost. Time limits and odds for free bets are usually capped. However, you can reduce your risk by using the free bets at standard odds. Then, place another bet at a different site with enhanced odds on the opposing team.
How do I use free bets and risk-free bets?
One of several ways people use no-risk bets is by hedging, as in the above example of betting on opposing teams at different sportsbooks. Another option is to find the best longshot bet for maximum payout.
A win is less likely, but you haven’t squandered the stake if the bet loses. Others use risk-free bets for their best plays at low betting odds. They view the free sports bets online as a bankroll-building opportunity.
Can I cash out free bet winnings right away?
With many well-known sites, winnings can be cashed out from free bets at sportsbooks. Check the terms and conditions of the site you choose.
What are playthrough requirements for free bets & risk-free bets?
Some sportsbooks require you to play through those winning stakes before cashing out. Another term used for playthrough is rollover.
For example, if you win with a bonus-free bet, you might have to bet the winnings several times before withdrawing the balance. Take, for instance, a 50 percent bonus on a $100 deposit. A five times rollover would need a playthrough of $750 before cashing out. For a 100 percent bonus of $100, you must bet $1000 before withdrawal.
Which sports can I get free bets on?
Free sports bets online are generally reserved for single-game sports. There are some restrictions, but each sportsbook will allow free bets on major sports. The general rule is you can use free bets on sports, horse racing, and casinos online.
Are free bets or risk-free bets worth it?
It’s essential to understand first that free sports bets aren’t really free. There are always risks of losing. But if used wisely, free bets at sportsbooks can help you build a bankroll.
Like any wagering strategy, risk-free betting needs research to get the best results. Choose the sportsbook that gives you the best online free bets on sports you love.
What other sportsbook bonus options are there?
Some sportsbooks offer odds boosts for specific games. Resort sportsbook operations will give out discounts on hotel stays at their properties. Finally, online sportsbooks will match a percentage of your deposit to play as you choose.
Sports Betting Basics
- 11 Unspoken Rules of Sports Betting
- Are Parlays & Same Game Parlays Worth It?
- California Odds vs. Vegas Odds – What’s the Difference?
- California Sports Betting Odds
- How Does Round Robin Betting Work?
- How to Buy Points in Sports Betting
- How to Self-Exclude from Online Sportsbooks
- Legal vs. Offshore Sportsbooks: What’s the Difference?
- Pros & Cons of Betting on Major Sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL)
- Sports Betting Plus & Minus Explained
- What Are Units In Betting?
- What Does Fade Mean In Betting?
- What Is a PK in Sports Betting?
- What is a Winning Margin 4 Way Bet?
- What is Arbitrage Betting?
- What Is Point Spread Betting?
- What Is Sports Betting Insurance?